Adventure Forums - View Single Post - The obligatory Sam & Max: Situation Comedy thread!
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:56 PM   #66
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 97

Originally Posted by Ariel Type View Post
I know, it's one of the distinctive feautures of Lucas Arts adventures. In MI1-2 they were original. In FT or GF they occupied just one of the acts. But in Bone2 and S&M1-2 they are the whole game, because of the short length. And well, it's more of the same. I mean, they have a whole new direction. They must progress. Look at Escape from MI. It used the new possibilities of keyboard interface, the designers (btw, Sean Clark and Michael Stemmle) constructed many new, interesting puzzles, without repeating old formulas (like in Curse of MI). That's why I respect them so much and feel a little disappointed for Dave and new S&M games.. But well, better this then nothing.
Well maybe the issue is that you're just really used to such puzzle designs. You initially complained that "New S&M are not adventures," but now you're complaining that the new Sam and Max games are "repeating old formulas."

Your statement does somewhat prove that adventure gaming is a learned process--once you've played through a couple of "collect three items/perform three actions to get a result" games, it soon becomes "more of the same" and thus, easier. For the most part, asking for innovation/evolution on this path really means "make the puzzles harder," (how many people complain about things like action sequences, keyboard usage, monkey kombat, etc? Or don't even care for new things like the psychoanalysis or verbal/dialog-based puzzles? Many people who complain about easiness and ask for innovation really just want harder puzzles, IMHO) but as soon as you do that you're asked to "innovate/evolve" (read: make it harder) 5 years later. Pretty soon, the only capable adventure gamers are those that have played the previous adventure games.

To summarize, basically, yes, the "collect three items/perform three actions to get a result" puzzle design is really "more of the same" to people who have played the last 20 years worth of Lucasarts-style adventure games, but is entirely new to average gamers, most of whom have never played adventure games before.

And in my opinion, the truth is that story really overwhelms everything. Aside from 3 or 4 puzzles, Grim Fandango is really one of the easiest of the Lucasarts adventure games--it only had 3 commands, look at, pick up, and use, and no inventory combinations... yet many people say it is one of the best adventure games ever.


Bringing it back to Situation: Comedy land, I'll have to say that the new game is only 1/3rd of the way through, that the game designers have already said that they've planned all along to up the difficulty as the game progresses, and that it really is unfair to come to a rushed judgment on the game before it is all said and done. I think things like humor, dialog and story are fair game, since such elements have to be consistent throughout the game, but an element like difficulty, which has already been acknowledged by the developers as successively more difficult, shouldn't be judged so quickly. People don't go and judge Grim Fandango based on its much easier Year One, so by extension, people shouldn't say "New S&M are not adventures" based on the first 1/3rd of the game.

Last edited by numble; 01-14-2007 at 10:31 PM.
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